Chapter 13: The Beautiful Bride
Tianshan Mountain, situated fifty kilometers outside of Skyfire City, the highest peak of Western Skyfire.
The territory of Skyfire was situated by class and affluence. To the East lived the rich, with the noble class situated on the West. The poor lay to the South, and the ghettoes to the North. As a result the inhabitants of the Western section were Skyfire City’s – and in fact all of Planet Skyfire’s – political elite.
Tianshan Mountain was said to be the ‘highest’ peak of the West, but in reality it rose no higher than eight hundred meters. The reason for it’s fame was the more than sixty ridgepole villas dotting it’s surface, the abodes of Skyfire’s most illustrious elite. Here, the higher you lived, the higher your status.
From base to peak there was only one road, it’s other face a sheer cliff. Today appeared to be a special day, for the entire length of the twenty-meter wide street had been made pink.
The color was due to the fact that the entire stretch of road had been covered in butterfly orchid petals several inches thick. Stretching for hundreds of meters, the fragrance was intoxicating.
The trees lining the road had been decorated with… wedding dresses. Yes, wedding dresses, not white gauze. Each tree had been fitted with a custom-made dress, white as the driven snow, and wonderfully elegant with luxurious white pearls. They were meant to symbolize flawlessness.
The area three kilometers around the mountain had already been cordoned off. Clearly it wasn’t wealth alone that could achieve this, but significant political clout.
Thousands of robo-cleaners had already swept the area the night before, so that not a single mote of dirt sullied the premises.
Some ten-odd Climate-Control aircraft flew overhead dispersing clouds, making the skies as transparent as a sapphire so that the rising sun could shine it’s brilliance upon the mountain top.
On the other side of the cordon line a scattered number of people had begun to gather. Half peered toward the mountain, the other half whispered amongst themselves.
“Has it started yet? This wedding has been hailed as the grandest cross-alliance wedding. It’s as massive as expected! Look up there, Climate-Control ships dispersing clouds and all!
“Yeah! It’s an important day, and I heard that later there will be a joint military parade, with mechs from both our militaries. They’re going to hold the wedding here first, then have another in the Western Alliance.”
“Ugh… lucky westerner. I heard the wedding is between the Chief of the Eastern Alliance’s daughter and the Western Prime Minister’s son. That’s why it’s such a grand wedding.”
“How could this be at all regrettable? A political union through marriage, nothing more than posturing. No one’s even seen what the Chief’s daughter is like, they just don’t know. I might even look better!”
“Hmph! The Chief’s daughter might be a mystery, but the Western Prime Minister’s son is always on the Interstellar Network channel. A young hero of his generation. For a political unification there can’t be too big a disparity between the image of either party.”
“Enough, don’t bother looking for me tonight!”
Unbelievably, on the peak of the mountain nearing the misty skies, rose a palatial structure of layered architecture. It’s style was a mixture of East and West, not at all lofty. It was white, in conjunction with the dominant hue of the day, and threads of splendid alabaster muslin were visible everywhere as though the building itself were clad in a wedding gown.
The building took up an area of seven hectares, it’s interior facilities absolutely extravagant. An outdoor pool rippled with faint blue water, it’s end tumbling in to a waterfall which flowed ceaselessly in to the palace’s lower level. Within the giant pool swam one hundred and eight silver arowana.
On the lawn adjacent to the pool, among an array of pure white flowers, milled guests who’d already arrived. A procession of high-end luxury verti-cars docked on the nearby helipad, and a queue of people in formal attire made their way inside the building. Among them were no lack of recognizable faces. Politicians, celebrities, business moguls…
Finely attired attendants shuffled between the guests bearing beverages, alcoholic drinks and delicacies.
In accordance with the traditions of the Eastern Alliance, the wedding must be held in the morning. As one of this century’s greatest weddings, it would also be held in the morning without exception.
Within the palace, two stylists nervously worked in an extravagant room. Two maids stood beside to assist them.
In the middle of all of them sat a woman.
The female stylist busied herself with placing make-up on the woman’s delicate features, while the man stood behind her. He held her jet-black shimmering hair in his hands, and thought deeply.
“Hehn…” The man held a Pink Finger’s Orchid between his fingers, speaking effeminately. “Sweety, you’re being impossible! If you wont let me put your hair in a bun, what am I supposed to do with it? With hair this long a bride absolutely needs a bun.”
The young woman shook her head. “No, no bun. If you can’t figure it out, then don’t. Let it hang naturally.”
“This…” the man began bitterly. “If you’re gunna be like this I simply can’t talk to you. How can you suddenly reject the bun? Today is your big day!”
The female stylist hummed. “What’s so strange about it. Miss Qianlin was born so beautiful, the most gorgeous I’ve encountered. Not an ounce of styling and you’d still be stunning.”
The man grumbled in agitation. “Hey! What are you talking about, a good stylist can make the beautiful sublime. Fine, fine.. let me think of something. The dual coiling dragon technique will work.”
The young girl smiled, like a hundred blooming flowers. “Thanks!”
Half an hour later.
The female stylist carefully placed the diamond-studded tiara atop the young woman’s hair, then clapping her hands together said, “There! Sweety, you are absolutely the most beautiful bride I’ve ever seen. Stand up and take a look.”
The young woman stood slowly, her hair already woven up, the two sides coiled layer on layer to hang down her back. An array of colorful gemstones twinkled in their midst.
The most important aspect of the dual coiling dragon style was to make the hair beautiful while leaving it’s length unchanged.
The lily-white dress shone like the Milky Way, twinkling with resplendent light, each diamond on it custom fit by Van Cleef & Arpels. Each diamond was flawless, larger than a karat each. The dress bore one thousand and one of them. The largest was set in the center of the chest, and cut in to the shape of a heart. The fifty-karat diamond was surrounded by a circle of small pigeon’s blood rubies.
Standing, her body tall and lithe, her wedding dress fitting to her like a glove, there was no flaw or blemish. The arc of her voluptuous chest swept downward, her waistline slender, the ridge of her backside enticing. Moving further down, her dress narrowed until she looked like a mermaid, her tail moving delicately.
The dress had no crinoline, instead setting off her flawless figure, flowing down past her lower legs to spread out in a bloom of white muslin.
The diadem upon her head was made of platinum, inset with diamonds and sapphires. If it were just like this, it wouldn’t be sufficiently grand for the occasion, but looking closer it was revealed that each exceedingly hard diamond and sapphire had been carved in to flowers using a special technique.
Peering upon herself in the mirror, Qianlin’s beautiful blue eyes began to mist. Her brow furrowed, bearing an echo of worry in her expression.
Her delicate lips parted. “Am I beautiful?”